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For Buyers: There’s A First Time For Everything

FOR BUYERS: THERE’S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
When you’re making a big decision like buying a house, it’s impossible to know everything you need if you don’t ask questions. When you work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), you gain access to information that other homebuyers don’t have, and have a dedicated professional that will serve as your advocate in the home buying process. I promise that you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision. I can’t wait to help you find your dream home!  

5 Important Questions to Ask at an Open House for First Time Home Buyers. 2016 DreamCasa.org. All Rights Reserved.

Hey Home Buyers, “Closing On A Home Shouldn’t Be A Game”

When you’re buying a home, you may think that you’ve taken care of every last detail and the home is basically yours! Then, out of nowhere, you’re thrown a curveball. What do you do now? How do you proceed? When you work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), we can help you through any snag in the process, regardless of what it is. I am a buyer’s representative which means that I am your advocate. Let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to working with you!  

I found this article quite interesting on closing day curveballs.

 

Sunshine Community Garden Annual Plant Sale!

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15 Years Of Real Estate Greatness

15 Years A Realtor!

It’s my 15-year anniversary as a practicing Realtor and I’m more grateful than ever for the people I’ve worked with and the friends I’ve made along the way. The road we’ve traveled together over the past 15 years is quite remarkable so bear with me a moment while I reflect on a journey that includes participation in over 1000 transactions.

My real estate career began February 2001, The Outkast were on top of the music charts with their hit “Ms. Jackson”. Spy Kids was just over a month away from debuting, Intel was tapping the brakes on its 10-story chip design center and ACL-Fest was still a year away from its first festival. One day tickets for that festival were only $25. Oh, and mortgage interest rates were over 7% for a 30-year fixed.

Since then, much has changed including the following setbacks and trends:

  • 2001 – 2003
    • The tragedies of 9/11 had a profound effect on consumerism and the housing market
    • The dot-com collapse was followed by an explosion of new Realtors, former engineers and  programmers looking for new work
    • Seller financing, wrap-around mortgages and rent-to-own were prevalent
  • 2003-2007
    • Zero-down financing with rolled-in closing costs meant mortgages were made at 110% of sales prices leaving buyers upside-down from day one
    • Interest rates hit record lows, 5.5% for a 30-year fixed
    • A refinance boom kept homeowners in homes longer as opposed to buying new homes
    • Builder incentives skyrocketed and builder move-ups & guaranteed sales became the norm
    • Realtor and mortgage creativity moved the market at record paces
    • In 2006, Scott predicted a market slow-down in the Austin metro area based on excessive and overly creative financing
  • 2007-2008
    • The real estate market came to a halt due to the financial crisis of 2008, absorption rates plummeted and inventory supply hit record levels
    • Short sales and foreclosures plagued the market; Realtors left the industry in record numbers
    • Federal bailouts began followed by multiple housing stimulus packages
  • 2013-Present
    • Interest rates continue to drop getting as low as 3.125% for a 30-year fixed
    • The market heats up as the economy improves, inventory falls bringing in the age of highly competitive multiple offers
    • Realtors flood the marketplace again as confidence in the housing market returns in full force

Through all of that your favorite Realtor kept busy with a rich variety of transactions-

  • Across Central Texas from Hutto to Lago Vista, Georgetown to Kyle & Buda, and every single town and niche in between  (2003-present)
  • Across the DFW metroplex from Dallas to Ft. Worth, Plano to Southlake and of course my home town of Coppell (2001-2003)
  • Ranging from $25k lots to million-dollar luxury homes
  • Representing banks on their REO properties
  • Negotiating against banks for sellers in distress
  • Working with first-time home buyers, move-up clients who sell & buy simultaneously, countless investors, plus second and vacation homes
  • Commercial investments and condo community representation
  • Flipping and building

…Plus participation in every major coaching program across the nation!

  • Countless workshops, training & coaching programs from the likes of Brian Buffini, Tom Ferry, Mike Ferry, Gary Keller, Floyd Wickman & the late-great Howard Britton
  • Numerous peer-to-peer mastermind groups amongst top agents across our great state
  • New designations and a few shelves of awards

I share this not to bore, nor to brag, but because I think it’s worth celebrating…and to remind you of the experienced hands you are in when you work with me. When I sat for my real estate licensing exam, I never could have imagined the path in front of me nor the experience I’d collect in 15 short years.

To all of my clients, past present and future, my friends and family, thank you so much for your support! I hope this helps remind you of why you chose to work with me for the first time and offers you the confidence to refer your family and friends our way. And when you do, we will treat  them with the respect they deserve, make sure all of their needs are met, their concerns are addressed, and we’ll report back to let you know just how happy they are!

Now, let’s get back to work and keep making it happen!

Here’s to the next 15 years!

The Creative Fund Presents “An Athenian Night”

TCF_ATHENIAN_NIGHT_ART

The Creative Fund will be invading the American Legion in central Austin for “A Night Fit For Dionysius” and we’ll be there as one of the lead sponsors. Will you join us?

The Creative Fund was launched in 2011 with the sole mission to raise funds to offset rising rents for performance artists right here in Austin. Please join us March 4th and help us keep the artistic scene as vibrant as ever! Oh, and the first two that email me direct will get a pair of free tickets!

 

Learn more about The Creative Fund and their signature event “An Athenian Night” night here! 

January 2016 Housing Stats for Central Texas

January Stats from Gracy Title

January stats have been posted and it looks like we’re off to a bit of a slow start. Keep in mind that January closings are a result of December sales and as previously discussed, the last quarter was suggested to be slower than expected due to new mortgage regulations known as TRID. That said, I fully expect the stats to catch and surpass those of 2015.

Election years are historically slower than others and though I’m still predicting a year that looks a lot like the past few years statistically, the slow start suggests now is the time to be a buyer! Why, call me and I’ll explain!

Even if you haven’t considered a move in 2016, I’d love to visit with you about the prospects of home ownership here in Central Texas. Reach out at  your convenience and let’s make that happen!

2015 Housing Statistics For Central Texas


2015 stats block 2 from Gracy Title

Once again, 2015 was another amazing year for the Central Texas housing market for homeowners as well as those in the housing industry. Now that the final numbers for 2015 have been released, we can see that 2015 bested 2014 in every major category. Median and average prices are both up 8.6% and 7.6% respectively. All signs point to more of the same yet again for the Central Texas housing market. It’s a wonderful time to be a homeowner for sure!

Of note, the number of sales for October, November and December look remarkably similar to those of 2014. However, local loan officers that we work with suggest that numbers for those months would have been higher if not for the new mortgage guidelines (TRID) that finally kicked in October 2 causing a dip in new loan applications as the market and industry adapted.

With interest rates once again hovering around 4%, it’s still a wonderful time to buy a home in Central Texas. If you are ready to take advantage of this market, drop us a note and we’ll take it from there!

2015 stats block 1 from gracy

 

2015 Stats from Gracy Title block 3

 

Skywatch Jan 20 – Feb 20!

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Wake up a bit early over the next month for another celestial treat! Between now and late February, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible in the couple of hours before sunrise!

And if you’re having a hard time distinguishing planets from stars, try the suggestion Jason Kendall of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York shared with the New York Times! “… close one eye, stretch out your arm and slowly pass your thumb over a bright dot in the sky. If the dot slowly dims out when your thumb passes over it, it’s a planet. If it quickly blinks out, it’s a distant star.”

What a great tip!

 

 

2016 Economic Forecast

2016 Economic Forecast

Last week we attended multiple economic forecast presentations. My personal takeaway: more of the same once again for the local housing market. Sound a little familiar to the past few years?

16 existing home sales average per month

The fundamentals for our local housing market remain strong as we enter 2016. We have strong employment and population growth, we have low inventory with affordable house prices relative to the rest of the country (see chart below) and we have pent up demand in multiple buyer sectors.

Affordability chart

This year we are primed to see: 

  1. First time home buyers enter the market as rents continue to escalate
  2. Boomerang buyers reenter the market with new sense of market confidence (buyers sidelined from the market due to a previous distressed mortgage)
  3. An increase in move-up transactions as prices stabilize, a bit

Market concerns for 2016:

  1. Global uncertainty (economic, political)
  2. Oil market decline
  3. High labor costs for new home construction
  4. Mortgage interest rates on the rise *

* Rates were predicted to go up last year. Though they fluctuated throughout the year, we ended the year where we started (around 4% for a 30-year fixed). It’s important to note that while many economists are projecting an increase in rates again this year, the mortgage companies I listen to suggest they’ll remain flat again this year!

Which brings me to, if you are considering a move this year, I’d love to visit with you about  how we can help!  This year’s market will once again be competitive and having an experienced agent on your side will be critical. Call, text or email me now and let’s make your move happen together!

Schedule your planning session now!

It’s Time For Your “Annual Home Review”

Are you ready for 2016?

This is that time of year to chat with your favorite Realtor for your annual home review. As your home is likely your biggest investment,  it’s critical to consider these 5 questions every year:

  1. What changes have occurred in your life that alter your goals for the next 5 years?
  2. What properties near you have sold, and how does this impact you today?
  3. What’s happening in your neighborhood that will impact the value of your home?
  4. What’s occurring with your current mortgage and what changes could benefit you?
  5. What new tax laws give you deductions or credits on home improvements?

Message me now and let’s answer these together to make sure you get the absolute most out of 2016!